The 500

500 cups of tea – at least – have been consumed.

The evidence is overwhelming.


In front of me is a package that once contained a kilogram of tea. It now contains nothing.

I do not remember ever spilling any, I never gave any loose tea away.

Lady Devotea does not like this tea, so none of the drinking of it was done by her. Furthermore, as we tend to share a pot, it was mostly consumed at times when Lady D did not have a cup of tea with me: perhaps she was out, or having some other beverage. Perhaps I was drinking tea in my office.

I did once share a flask with a friend of ours; so that’s just one cup that was not consumed by me.

I tend to put two grams in a tea tumbler when making tea for one. That works out to 500 cups, of which only one was drunk by someone else. I resteeped the last two grams this morning, as I often do, and I’m estimating it would be more like 550. But we cannot deny the 500.

I remember how I ended up with this kilo, and when: it was just over a year ago.

So where did those 500 cups go? Why do I not have a memory?

How many cups of tea do that, I wonder? Slip by, unheralded. Sustaining and essential, they hydrate and energise, and yet there is scarcely a nod in their direction.

Incidentally, this tea has a bit of a history. It was a popular tea a while back here in Australia, then it vanished, then it came back.

I first came across the name of it on a fairly average black blend, and then I was surprised to find out that my supplier of that was doing so in a manner than seemed entirely suspect. Here’s how it goes:

  • Person A’s family company invents and owns the blend and brand, then gets into some difficulty.
  • Person A sells the name and formula to Person B’s family company.
  • Person A sells their family company to Person C’s family company.
  • Person C believe that as this tea was created by a company he now owns, he’s entitled to use the name that was previously sold.
  • Person D (that’s me) buys some from person C. And it’s OK.
  • Person B sends some polite letters, then some solicitors letters asking Person C to desist.  Person D (still me) meets Person B and hears the story. Then Person D (still me) gets a sample and realises that it’s far better tea.
  • Person D’s family company (which consists of myself & Lady Devotea) entirely switch tea suppliers for our tea shop. Person C continues to sell the stuff, and everyone else in the story moves on, because Person C is actually the worst person Person D has ever met.

And there you have it.

So, I ended up with a kilo. If I had to describe the taste, I would compare it to Persian Princess (AU or US), but with less up front kick and more residual. It’s not the same taste, but it’s in the ball park. Strong, somewhat complex, beefy black. It has a quality that I describe as “greeness” that I only seem to find in black teas, never green ones.

Never mind, I know what I like. And who to avoid.

If only I could remember each cup of tea. I’m sure I enjoyed them all. It seems disrespectful to forget. Perhaps I should order another kilo at some point.

If I do, I suspect it will meet the same fate as the first.

7 thoughts on “The 500

  1. Not sure why? When I read this post what came to mind was the poem “Charge of the light brigade” I haven’t thought about this since grammar school!
    It could be that your next batch of this tea might result in 600 cups.

  2. ’tis true. Only when you get through a very large packet of tea, do you really visualize much tea you’ve drank in a certain time. We go through a lot of large packets, usually one pound bags. However, I don’t know exactly how many cups I’ve sipped because I’m always sharing my pot. Too many takers around here….

    1. The other dozen teas we have 1 kilo packs of in our kitchen at any one time are as unauditable as yours. This one just happened to be a unique situation.

  3. You not remembering every single cup of tea you drank? 😉

    And what Person E? You know the one reading this post and thinking who are all these guys? Is this a Shakespeare thing?

  4. If I really knew how many cups of tea I drank I think I would lay stunned and in disbelief. For me I suppose something’s are better left unsaid or in this case un-researched.

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